Big time fan we are of the Chevrolet Camaro. Even a 4.000 km drive along Route 66 in a Ford Mustang couldn’t change our mind… at least talking about the looks; the way a Camaro is positioned on higher ‘hind legs’, we have a thing for it.
The Chevrolet Camaro and us go long way back. I remember an evening in 2013 driving a Chevrolet Camaro Convertible Bumblebee (the yellow one with black stripes that is) on the E313 against the sun going down. The muscular car, its nervousness, the eagerness with which it wanted to take every curve, its grip and its impressive acceleration power. Wow, that 6,2 liter V8 with 426 pk was just amazing… the brand new Chevrolet Camaro Convertible 2.0L Turbo – the standard version that is – is nothing like that. But it’s much better for your wallet!
Chevrolet first decided to try its hand at muscle cars in 1967 with the formidable Camaro. In 2018, the Camaro comes in different personalities, from the 2.0L V6 Turbo delivering 275 hp and 400 Nm to the Camaro V8 with a 6.2L V8 and impressive 453 hp. As the 2.0L turbo is something completely new in the line-up, of course we had to try that one out… in the convertible version of course. More classy when the sun is out.
The first-ever Camaro V6 Turbo engine delivering 275 hp and 400 Nm accelerates the Camaro from 0-100 km/h in less than six seconds. That is not as impressive as the V8 engine but the good thing is that this new Camaro is the most fuel-efficient ever (our average combined fuel consumption was 9,4 litres overall) The powertrain coupled to the 8 speed automatic transmission makes it a real boulevard cruiser with the looks of an ‘all American muscle car’.
The sixth generation of the Chevrolet Camaro retains the iconic Camaro design but features of course some new things. The exterior design is more athletic-looking, sculpted and complements as such the tighter, and leaner architecture. It also offers all-new, modern lighting signatures – including LED-technology.
The muscular effect of the exterior makes the new car look significantly lower and wider than before, even though it is within 50 mm of the exterior dimensions of the outgoing model.
Did you know that approximately 70 percent of the architectural components are unique to Camaro? Through extensive computer-aided engineering, structural rigidity was increased by 28 percent, while the total curb weight for the Camaro has been reduced by 94 kg. So, the new Camaro is lighter (-94 kg), more powerful (+5%), and more efficient (+25%) than the previous model and the all new rear-wheel drive architecture results in a more nimble driving experience. Anyhow, the overall driving experience is significantly different. Immediately, we notice how much lighter and more nimble the Camaro feels. A feeling that increases when we drive the Camaro faster – it brakes more powerfully and dives into corners quicker. And that makes the car fun to drive. In general this new Camaro is also easier to drive, but the one who opts for the new Camaro 2.0L Turbo standard version has to live with a lot less American muscles than its stronger brother and predecessors. It begins when pushing the ‘start’ button. No roaring sound, rumble or growl but even some electric feel in the engine sound.
Also driving we get an electric feeling like sitting in a tram. Its bizar driving an American muscle car that sounds like this. Nothing like we would have expected at least soundwise because in the driving the Camaro gained a lot of comfort. We have a more precise feeling of control and also a more communicative feel from the electric power steering system.
It’s a good thing for European customers and their wallets that the Camaro for the first time ever is available as a Turbo with 2.0T petrol engine delivering 275 hp next to the Camaro V8 with a 6.2L V8 and impressive 453 hp but doesn’t one buy a muscle car for its muscles? “We expect the Turbo 2.0L will set the new benchmark in the segment – and give a new generation of enthusiasts a reason to fall in love with Camaro,” explains Al Oppenheiser, Camaro Chief Engineer.
The fully automatic soft top can be operated remotely via the key fob or from inside at speeds of up to 50 km/h. The top takes just 20 seconds to cycle both up and down and folds away neatly beneath a hard tonneau cover.
We experienced a lot of wind in the cabin at normal highway speeds of 110 km/h (so much that even on a warm day we decided to put the roof on again) but later on we discovered why that is. The company arranging our test drive forgot to deliver the windscreen. Unfortunately we cannot give an opinion about the windiness of the cabine. That’s a real pity because isn’t that also what a convertible is about. The good news however is that all turbo models in the Camaro line feature active noise cancellation, which uses sound waves to cancel unwanted cabin noise and which makes phone calls for instance doablecompared to other convertibles with a soft top.
Like the exterior, the interior is completely new, yet instantly recognizable. The inside of the car is modern and driver focused and integrates class-leading control technologies, including a new Driver Mode Selector, configurable instrument cluster, and a new customizable LED ambient lighting feature. Those who like a change so now and than, will love this feature. Integrated into the dashboard, door panels, and center console, it offers 24 different colors, as well as fade and transition effects that spread across the interior. There’s even a theatrical “car show” mode that cycles randomly through the entire color spectrum when the Camaro is parked. The ambient lighting you simply adjust using the touch screen Camaro’s new Driver Mode Selector – accessed via a switch on the center console. The system enabled us to tailor the look, sound, and feel of this Camaro to our mood of the day.
Chevrolet’s new MyLink system with an 8-inch-diagonal color touchscreen which feels very American by the way (as do some of the plastic materials inside) is now compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay’s counterpart as standard equipment in the Camaro. Both systems offer a simpler, smarter way to use a smartphone in the vehicle thanks to the MyLink display. Drivers can access their favorite songs and playlists, hands-free calling and texting – all using the built-in touch-screen and steering wheel controls in the car for better concentration on the road.
OnStar technology is standard and immediately responds in case of an accident even if you can no longer call for assistance. Integrated OnStar 4G LTE internet connection is available in the Camaro and serves as a WLAN hotspot for up to seven devices.
– upwards oriented nose results in less visibility
– not so much of a good sight through the back window
– feels less nervous but has lost also some of its wild hairs
– rather small booth
– great boulevard cruiser
– less fuel consumption and less taxes than V8
– more advanced technology and upgraded, driver-centric interior
– standard MyLink infotainment system, OnStar with Wi-Fi hotspot are standard
Price for this beauty in Belgium: 49,860 euros.